50 shades of grey – the spectrum of Internet Marketing reseller options

Posted by Chris on December 27th, 2012

I have been involved in some way with Cisco resellers – as a founder or investor – since around 1995. It was about then that I recommended that LanSwitch/Voyager adopt Cisco as it’s main product for resale rather than 3Com.

There are a variety of options in terms of the type of reseller that you are. Broadly speaking these range from resellers that are focussed on
” shifting ” ( Cisco ) box’s to those that are focussed on delivering ” advanced ” services e.g. consultancy.

When LanSwitch first started out it was very much focussed on selling ” box’s ” – to be precise 3Com LAN switches. Even then we had added some
” services ” around the basic offering e.g. baselining and maintenance.

By the time we adopted Cisco we had a fairly well established set of services.

With Cisco there is a seemingly never ending number of accreditations to get which normally include having so many qualified people. The permutations of these qualified people get ever more complex, and the variations of types of qualified people increase all the time. There is a definate cost to getting and maintaining these people and accreditations.

Over the years I have seen Cisco do many sorts of ” analysis ” of their resellers as someone comes up with another way of looking at them.

From Cisco’s perspective it is substantially about ” shifting box’s ” and achieving sales,revenue and profit targets.

They don’t really, deep down,  care how you do it as long as you do it !

Cisco’s perspective on a reseller is one view. However another view, that as is as important – arguably more important, is the view of the ” market ” i.e. M&A people and if floated, the stock market.

If they look at your company they will take Cisco accreditations as ” very good but so what ?? “. i.e. there are loads of Gold, Silver and Bronze resellers, what makes your company different from them ??

As one analyst said to me when we were looking to value Voyager ” Are you a box shifter or a value added service provider or reseller ?? “. When I answered that we were a ” Value Added Reseller ” he said ” Really ? – what’s your revenue from box sales relative to your revenue from services ? ” If it was 80/20 Box to Services that was bad. If it was 40 Box to 60 services that was good.

I actually spent a lot of time thinking about differentiators and value drivers at Voyager. The more differentiators and value drivers you have the higher your valuation multiples become. Also you get into ” I actually don’t know how to value that but it sounds good ” territory !!

 

When I was thinking about this blog I realised that it could easily end up as a book because there was a lot to say in terms of Cisco’s perception of  a ” valuable reseller ” and a lot to say about the ” markets ” perception of a valuable business. There  would also be something to write on the intersection of Cisco and the markets valuation points.

 

As I want to talk about another matter I don’t want to delve more deeply into these aspects just yet.

 

Cisco has a great range of products. You can just about survive selling these products if you wrap a certain amount of services around them ( the achievable margins on Cisco products have fallen dramatically over the years ). To differentiate yourself within the Cisco community and to the ” market ” you need more ” value added ” elements.

 

Let us now turn to the Six Figure Mentors ( SFM ) / PRO U / Digital Experts Academy ( DEA )  opportunity:

SFM/PROU/DEA offers a range of ” Digital Marketing ” products with Tools, Training, Support and a Community. It is the ” Cisco ” of the Digital Marketing world. Better than that the margins on these products are very high. So, you certainly can build a business focussing on being a reseller of these products. The products are priced from $20 to $20K.

Selling lots of these products is certainly going to get you noticed within SFM/PROU/DEA and if you are really good it is going to get you onto the
( Sales ) Leaders Board.

That is a great opportunity in itself. Essentially you only have to get prospects into the sales funnel at the top through ” sign-ups ” and ” applications ” and the rest is handled by SFM/PROU/DEA internal support and sales staff.

As was pointed out here  this is only the first of three opportunities.

I think added value can be implemented here e.g. ” conversion ” from ” sign-up ” to ” application ” relies on the auto-responders doing their job – which to a large extent they do but some people are not convinced by these and additional ” personal sales intervention ” may be required.

We know that once you understand ” the system ” it can be applied to other products and services that you might wish to sell e.g. within our team Sandra and Adelaide want to use the system to market and sell new Callanetics products.

You don’t just need to know the system but also how to make a range of products and services suitable for marketing and sales by the system.

There is added value here.

Finally, the main target of the SFM/PROU/DEA products and services is individuals ( probably of a certain demographic type ). In our view the products and services can be used by individuals and businesses – probably SMB’s as a particular target.

Tailoring ” the system ” to a businesses needs is certainly an added value capability. Here you are acting as an ” integrator ” – using the SFM/PROU/DEA products and services and integrating them into a new or existing businesses Marketing and Sales operation.

You are acting as a high-end Internet/Digital/Social Media Marketing/Web Development Consultant and Integrator.

This is what The Centripetal Network is .

Becoming part of the Centripetal Network is like becoming part of a Global Systems Integrator ( in Cisco terms ). You are a member of SFM/PROU/DEA – which in itself is a fabulous thing. You probably run a Digital Experts Academy in e.g. Washington D.C. or The Gold Coast.  You use ” the system ” to sell other products and services e.g. Callanetics but also you are part of a Global Digital Marketing Integrator that uses the system to boost other businesses Internet Presence Return on Investment. You help them to get more traffic, leads and orders – and therefore money – for their businesses.

One of the main advantages of this is that Centripetal Consulting is a ” business ” in it’s own right to anyone looking at it from a ” market ” perspective. It is a business owned by you and us. It is a ” Value Added Integrator ” . It can be sold or floated in the future and the shareholders will be you and us.

Now it is not ” easy ” to build a Global Digital Marketing Integrator and exit from it ( trade sale ) or float it but it is possible. Chris. Michael and I bring with us the experience to do this.

 

 

 

 

Digital Experts Academy Training Locations Expand Globally

Posted by Chris on December 22nd, 2012

How fast can you roll out a Digital Experts Academy Network Worldwide ????

Our Digital Experts Academy Network is expanding globally at lightening speed

I wrote an article on the expansion of our chain of Digital Experts Academy franchises HERE just under a month ago. How are we doing ??

How fast can you roll out a global Digital Experts Academy franchise ??

Well, in  just under a month we have franchises established in Virginia, U.S. , the Gold Coast, Australia
( 2 ), Warsaw, Poland and London, U.K. as well as the Head Office here in Lichfield. Other D.E.A. teams are also expanding their franchises as we aim to create 1000 Digital Marketing Experts by 2015.

We also have advanced discussions with another half dozen or so people.

The crazy thing is that we have opportunities going back and fore across the world as each of our team get’s online and starts talking to their networks.

In our team we have a lot of business experience including:

Michael Nelson – former Strategy Coach to the White House, based Virginia.

Sandra Hanna and Adelaide Kingsnorth – Global Callanetics Entrepreneurs, based Gold Coast.

Chris Butler – CEO and co-founder of WeCanDoBiz – a 21,000 member global network, based London.

Malgorzata Krukowska

Malgorzata Krukowska, Warsaw.

With this level of experience and expertise we are able to help new Digital Experts Academy franchisees get up and running very quickly.

We all help one another as much as we can and we all have slightly different skills and experience to offer. We are thinking ahead all the time.

We use email, social media and especially skype to talk to one another.

Of course we have the Six Figure Mentors and PRO U communities to help us aswell – particularly Martyn    Hickey in the U.K. and Mark Hayes in the U.S. Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassek are always there if we need them.

I have built franchises before but never at this speed and with this level of co-operation. Also, almost definately without this level of FUN !!!!

I think the reason that it is all progressing so rapidly is that it is a FANTASTIC business model. It is also great timing for this business model. It is a set of products in an industry that has an almost limitless potential and will last until the forseeable future.

When I evaluate startup businesses I look at a few main things: People, Proposition, Profit, Potential, and Plan. I am not going to go through all of these but it is obvious that they all exist in spades. This is what we can all see as soon as we look into the Digital Experts Academy opportunity in more detail.

Chris Windley – Managing Partner, Silicon Crossroads Technopolis.

Digital Experts Academy Expands from Silicon Crossroads Technopolis

Posted by Chris on December 22nd, 2012

Digital Experts Academy to Expand Worldwide

This is the first Digital Experts Academy but many more to come

Chris Windley, Managing Partner of the Silicon Crossroads Technopolis ( a High Tech. incubator and Venture Capital Trust ), Six Figure Mentor ( Digital Marketing Mentor ), Investor and Entrepreneur has announced that the first of a number of Digital Experts Academies is to be opened at the Technopolis.

Plans are already well advanced for Academies in the United States and Australia. The Six Figure Mentors and the Digital Experts Academy are the brainchild of U.K. based Stuart Ross and U.S. based Jay Kubassek.

The Digital Experts Academy is a global high-level education and training program devised by these two leading edge digital entrepreneurs. They are committed to sharing their strategies and business success to members starting in January 2013.

 

 

 

Chris Windley who is one of the top 100 High Tech. Angel investors in the world, said

” The Digital Experts Academy is one of the most significant developments in Digital Marketing that there has ever been. We have decided to invest in physical locations to complement the already developed Six Figure Mentors training and the soon to be released Digital Experts Academy training. The Technopolis has been involved in researching and developing leading edge Digital Marketing systems for some years, having been one of the first organisations to install HubSpot Inc.’s Inbound Marketing systems on client sites. Our experience was that although HubSpot is a fantastic digital marketing system its price and complexity made it more suitable for Large and Enterprise customers rather than Solopreneurs and Small and Medium Sized businesses. The Technopolis also developed the highly effective, WordPress and Twylah based, Internet Marketing Ecosystem. ( The SFM system is also WordPress based ). The Silicon Crossroads area ( near the junction of the A5 and A38 ) houses many web and internet software related companies.

We will be able to take brand new and partially trained Digital Marketers and bring them up to Stuart and Jay’s level over time. This will make them amongst the best trained Digital Marketers in the world. Stuart and Jay have a target of training 1000 Digital Marketers in their methods and systems by 2015.

Although nearly all of the training is available online and can be accessed from anywhere in the world ( where there is an Internet connection ) we believe that there is a need for occasional one to one and group training, face to face, which we will provide at the Technopolis.

Other Six Figure Mentor and Digital Experts Academy partners are at liberty to open physical locations but have not chosen to do so at the moment. Our commitment is to open physical facilities alongside online facilities rapidly and globally.

I have made this my personal mission for the next 3 years. ”

 

 

Want to stay up to date with our launch plans ? Sign up for updates and experience the quality of training >>>>> HERE <<<<<<<<<<
by doing the FREE 7 Day Digital Marketing BOOTCAMP.

 

 

There are four levels of training available Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black.

Direct Mail – Using Postcards – Rocks !!!!

Posted by Chris on December 1st, 2012

7 Reasons Direct Mail Rocks

Direct mail is one of those mediums that is typically overlooked in the age of the almighty internet and that’s ok with the relatively few of us still using it with great results. Here are 7 reasons you might want to consider joining the ranks of smart marketers using direct mail.

1.    Extremely targeted  – You can target markets by demographics, psychographics, or (my personal favorite) past purchases. There are compiled lists, which consist of contacts who share some similarity like living in the same zip code, belonging to the same political party, or having blue eyes. There are responders lists, which are made up of people who have responded or opted in in some way like requesting more info, filling out a warranty card, or calling from a radio or tv commercial. Then there are my favorite kind of lists. These are list of buyers of some other product or service. People on these lists have already demonstrated a willingness to buy something.

2.    Super stealthy – Unlike marketing online, direct mail gives you the ability to test, grow, and build  a campaign or business with very little visibility by your competitors. It’s very easy with all the tools available to “spy” on your competition online, not so with direct mail. They won’t know how much you’re mailing, how often, or have any idea what your conversions are.

3.    Easily scalable – The size you can grow to is only limited by the number of available responsive lists. With direct mail you can very predictably scale your business by continuing to test additional lists and with a knowledgable list broker you can predict what size you can scale to sometimes after the first test.

4.    Very few moving parts -  With a direct mail campaign your biggest variables are list, mail piece, and response device. Obviously
there are other components (or parts within the parts). But having just 3 main things to test makes it easy to track and easy to tweak.

5.    Low-tech/Beginner friendly – You don’t need to know how to write code. You don’t have to hire someone to write code. There’s no code involved. Once the copy and layout is done for the mail piece, turning on your campaign is as easy as calling your list broker to order names and then calling the print/mail shop to place your order. You don’t even have to touch a stamp if you don’t want to.

6.    Relatively cheap – In my experience I’ve seen per lead costs for as low as $2, optins for $4, and per sale cost for a $1,495  dollar product as low as $150. Imagine offering a JV partner $150 bucks for a $1,495 sale. Also leads generated via direct mail tend to have a MUCH higher LTV (lifetime value) and fewer unsubscribes and spam complaints.

7.    It’s an independent platform – What do I mean by independent platform? Well unlike most of the online sources you may be used to there is no big company telling you what your ads can look like. Obviously you are still regulated by the FTC and various other entities concerned with rules regarding what you can and can’t say in your advertising. But there are no companies telling you your message doesn’t meet with their approval, no quality scores, no algorithym changes, none of the things that can adversly affect your business overnight.

BONUS REASON: Very little competition. Today inboxes are full and people are eager to hit the delete or worse the spam complaint button. But just the opposite is true for most people’s mailboxes. Your message stands out when yours is the only one they’re holding in their hands reading.

Bottom line… it doesn’t matter if you use direct mail for lead generation, direct selling, or simply to fill up webinars, direct mail can help you build and grow your business predictably and with very little hassle. 


Luke Jaten has been involved in sales and marketing since he started his first business mowing lawns at the age of 11.

At the ripe old age of 17 He answered his first direct response ad about how to make money in mail order and by 1987 (at 19 years old) he was running full-page ads in magazines himself.

Since then, Luke has used magazines, newspapers, tv, radio, the internet, direct mail, mobile web, voice broadcasting, telemarketing (inbound and outbound), and teleseminars to market and sell nutritional supplements, software, sandwich franchises, business opportunities, seminars, real estate courses, books, alarm systems, web design, investments, payday loan franchises, credit repair services, diet products, 900 lines, music clubs, magazine subscriptions and lots more… either for himself or for other people.

In the last seven years alone, Luke’s ads have sold over $55 million dollars worth of goods and services.

In 2006 Luke started teaching his brand of marketing and now many of his students have gone on to create multi-million dollar direct response businesses themselves.


Copyright © 2007 M & A Rainmaker. All rights reserved.